That set of not so good photographs of Olympic athletes taken by pro photographer Joe Klamar continue to generate discussion both for and against. While some clearly deride Klamar, others seem to want to praise him for his novel take on the old fashioned athletic portrait.
To me it comes down to expectations. If you saw them without context, you’d assume they were taken by an amateur who just happened to be around the shoot and grabbed some snapshots while the pros were working. They succeed in that way because they show the subject clearly enough but the lighting and framing seem off. But when you know they were taken by a professional, sold to a service and then released for use by news agencies you probably have a different opinion of them.
I’m an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I take lots of photos (some of which appear here). But most of mine never leave the hard drive. Really good photos are few and far between for someone like me. But Klamar is a pro, his hits are supposed to greatly outnumber his misses. He has an incentive to keep the misses hidden so as to not dilute his reputation for quality even when that means not making money. But it looks like this time he decided the money from the service was more important than the criticism he knew he’d receive.
So like I said earlier, even pros take bad photos. But what I really meant was they don’t publish them for the world to see and criticize.
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